Things That Matter

People Are Triggered That A Texas Ranger Statue Was Removed From A Texas Airport

The Texas Rangers have a long history of terrorizing communities of color along the southern border. Their violence has been documented in history books, documentaries, and novels that show the true viciousness of these law enforcement representatives. We are now seeing their statues fall with the other monuments representing violent and oppressive people from America’s dark and unreconciled history.

A statue of infamous Texas Ranger EJ Banks was taken down at the Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas.

EJ Banks is one of the many Texas Rangers that fought terrorized communities of color in Texas. The slogan “ONE RIOT, ONE RANGER” on the statue is a reminder of a time he allowed for racial tensions to grow as a school was supposed to be integrated.

According to UTSA Libraries Special Collections, Banks was summoned to the high school under the orders of the governor. The point of the Texas Ranger being at the school was explicitly to defy a federal order and protect segregation. You can see an effiy of a Black man hanging from the school behind the group of white students with Banks.

The statue stood in the Love Field Airport for decades.

Much like Confederate monuments to the Black community, the Texas Rangers are a constant reminder of the violence against the Mexican and Mexican-American communities. The true extent of the cruelty inflicted by the Texas Rangers has been repressed until recently when people started to tell the full story.

There is no lack of people on social media who are absolutely furious that this monument to racism was removed.

We all know that Twitter is a place that all people share their unfiltered thoughts. As such, people on Twitter are pledging to avoid this airport at all cost and others claim that this is an attempt to erase history.

Some people seem to be unaware fo the true dealings of the Texas Rangers. One example of the violence and brutality of the Texas Rangers is the Texas town of Porvenir. The town was along the Texas-Mexico border and was heavily populated by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

In the dead of night on Jan. 28, 1918, the Texas Rangers joined U.S. military personnel and white local ranchers to devastate Porvenir. What followed was a night filled with all men and older boys being rounded up in the middle of the night and heartlessly executed. The attack was part of a larger strategy of violence in the U.S. to stunt the economic and wealth opportunities for minority communities. This kind of violence has persisted over the decades and evolved to continue to exist within modern American society.

A few people are pointing out that removing a statue of a violent racist is not erasing history.

Sure, statues are one way to preserve history. However, it is written in books so the history of EJ Banks and the Texas Rangers is still out there. Also, how many people really stopped at that statue in the airport to learn who the person was and what he stood for? Likely, it was just a general representation of the Texas Rangers to people making their way through that airport.

The history of the Texas Rangers exists and cannot be erased.

Statues are usually used to celebrate or exalt someone. Taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee, Christopher Columbus, or EJ Banks is not erasing the history. However, there was once a chance to replace the statue and it might be time to revisit that.

According to D Magazine, last year the city was a proposal that would have replaced the statue of EJ Banks with that of civil rights attorney Adelfa Callejo.

Callejo made a name for herself fighting for civil rights for immigrants in Texas as well as education. Her fight for education is so revered that there is an elementary school named in her honor. The statue to honor her now resides in a park in downtown Dallas. It is the first statue of a woman in Dallas. Maybe it is time to give her a place greeting people to Dallas.

READ: A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

Photo via Getty Images

Students at a high school in Aledo, Texas are being disciplined after the administration discovered they held a mock slave auction on Snapchat where they “traded” Black students.

Screenshots of the Snapchat group show that these unnamed students “bid” on students of color, ranging anywhere from $1 to $100.

One student in particular was priced at $1 because his hair was “bad”. The screenshot also shows that the group chat’s name changed regularly. The group’s name started as “Slave Trade” then changed to “N—-r Farm”, and finally to “N—– Auction”.

Upon learning of the mock slave auction, the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus’s principal wrote a note to parents explaining the situation. Principal Carolyn Ansley called the mock slave auction “an incident of cyberbullying and harassment” which “led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can have a profound and lasting impact” on people.

Many people felt that the school principal downplayed the gravity of the mock slave auction. Not once did she mention the word racism in the letter that she sent out to parents.

“Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism… that is the piece that really gets under my skin,” said Mark Grubbs, father to three former Aledo ISD students, to NBC DFW. But Grubbs, along with many other Aledo parents and community members, say that the incident didn’t surprise them.

In fact, Grubbs said he had to take his children out of the Aledo ISD school system because of how much racist harassment his children were facing. “A lot of racism,” he said of his son’s experience at the school. “My son being called out of his name and what not and it got to the point he didn’t mind fighting and that didn’t sit right with me and my wife. My son was never a fighter.”

After the backlash to the initial statement, Superintendent Susan Bohn finally released a statement condemning the racism and “hatred” of the mock slave auction.

“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,’ Bohn wrote. “Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy.”

The problem with “policies” like these is they fail to target the issue of racism at the root. Hate speech may be “prohibited”, but if a child is displaying racist behavior for whatever reason, the bigger problem is the way that they have been educated and indoctrinated. Slave auctions have no place in 2021.

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